Margaret May Smith

Nov. 5, 1927 - June 5, 1015

Born November 5, 1927, Margaret May Stork entered this world the second child of Willem and Mary Stork in the town of Hengelo, The Netherlands. May led an idyllic early life growing up in Western Europe until the winds of war touched their lives. Her father was able to secure passage for the family on a tramp steamer bound for New York just days prior to the Nazi invasion of Holland. The family stayed in the United States until War’s end when they returned to Holland to rebuild their shattered lives. A short time later, May migrated back to the United States and was living with her mother in Reno. About that time, her future husband, Raymond M Smith, having just finished his master’s degree from Harvard University took a job as the head community planner for Washoe County. They met at a UNR basketball game and were married in 1950. This marriage lasted until 2007 when Ray died in their home in Minden. Fifty seven years was a good long run. May and Ray were the parents of four sons; Willem (Sheila), Cole (Toni), Gage, and Scott (Piper). In addition, there are numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. All four sons reside in Douglas County. During their long marriage, they have lived in some unique homes in Western Nevada. Their first house was an old Victorian on Center Street in Reno. May liked to recount the stories of being newlyweds and mostly broke trying to renovate that old house. Through those experiences they made many lifetime friends. In 1959, Ray took a job for Crystal Bay Development Company charged with designing the community of Incline Village. The couple built and lived in a Swiss Chalet on the shores of Tahoe during those years. Tahoe remained a special place in May’s heart with many good times and memories from those years at the lake. In the early ‘70s the family purchased a ranch in the Carson Valley. There too, they built a unique home converting an old barn into a show place. May excelled in the ranch life and was an eager participant in all functions of the ranch, be it collecting eggs and cleaning the chicken coop to helping birth lambs in the spring. They sold the ranch and have lived in Minden since the late 1970s. The first town house sat on the Minden Park. They were the first to remodel this house complete with ghost and all.May had an active social circle of friends. She enjoyed outings with her friends that included lunch and a bloody Mary or two. She also liked to play bridge and in later years was an avid puzzle builder. She and her friends would spend many wintery afternoons building puzzles and discussing the issues of the day. Although May had many friends, none was closer than her 60 year friendship with Natalie Gardner. No description of May would be complete without mentioning her love of her family. With that love came a few interesting parables. She was clean to a fault and expected her family to be that way, too. The “Dutch Cleanser” was a term her family lovingly gave her. She was also a stickler on manners and politeness. Her children always addressed elders as “Mr. or Mrs.” until told different. “Please” and “Thank You” were a regular part of her children’s lexicon. Although she may have spoken softly, she wielded a big stick. With four rambunctious boys, the wooden spoon was never far out of reach. This article would not be complete without mentioning her talents in the kitchen. Good food cooked well is an accurate descriptor. More than that, she was adventurous in the kitchen and often tried out new and interesting recipes. This was a skill that she taught her sons. All four of them are a testament to her tutelage in the kitchen. We, her sons, would not be the people we are today without the guidance and love of this incredible lady. She always said,”You’ll miss me when I’m gone.” She was so right. A celebration of life brunch for family and close friends will be held on Saturday, June 27 at the home of Scott and Piper Smith. Details will be forthcoming. The family asks that you refrain from sending flowers and instead make a donation to the charity of your choice. In closing, the family would like to express its sincere appreciation to the Saint Mary’s Hospice organization. We would also like to acknowledge the loving attention given by her care givers over the past year.


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